Guiding neuronal growth cones using Ca2+ signals

John Henley, Mu Ming Poo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

270 Scopus citations


Pathfinding by growing axons in the developing or regenerating nervous system is guided by gradients of molecular guidance cues. The neuronal growth cone, located at the ends of axons, uses surface receptors to sense these cues and to transduce guidance information to cellular machinery that mediates growth and turning responses. Cytoplasmic Ca2+ signals have key roles in regulating this motility. Global growth cone Ca2+ signals can regulate cytoskeletal elements and membrane dynamics to control elongation, whereas Ca2+ signals localized to one side of the growth cone can cause asymmetric activation of effector enzymes to steer the growth cone. Modulating Ca2+ levels in the growth cone might overcome inhibitory signals that normally prevent regeneration in the central nervous system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-330
Number of pages11
JournalTrends in Cell Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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